12 Jul 2010

Tonga public sector union slams call for extra payment to MPs

4:01 pm on 12 July 2010

Tonga's Public Service Association is calling on the Prime Minister not to grant MPs an extra payment as a parting gift when the current Parliament disbands later this year.

Last month the Niua People's Representative, Sione Feingatau 'Iloa, pleaded with the Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, to give MPs what he dubbed a blanket to keep themselves warm.

But the PSA secretary Mele Amanaki says this request is both ridiculous and unreasonable.

She says it shouldn't be granted because the Government has cut spending in a number of areas in its latest budget claiming it doesn't have the money.

Ms Amanaki says money is needed for many basic services, including health, education, roading and other transport facilities.

Dr Sevele has told Parliament that a financial update on the state of the Tongan economy is due next month and that would enable them to make a decision on the payment request.